Even the Euros Know It: Marriage is Good for Your Heart

Married is better for your heart. So those of us who are married can celebrate American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day at the same time!

For those living solo, there is still hope. See the end of this post for three helpful hints.

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The February issue of the “European Journal of Cardiology” carried an important study. It’s titled “Prognosis of acute coronary events is worse in patients living alone: the FINAMI myocardial infarction register.”

Yikes, who would have thought that long-winded headline for the research promoted the health benefits of marriage? From the title, there’s just bad news about being single and alone.

In fact, the results were hugely significant for anyone experiencing acute coronary syndrome (ACS). What is ACS? Here’s Mayo Clinic’s definition:

Acute coronary syndrome is a term used for any condition brought on by sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart. Acute coronary syndrome can describe chest pain you feel during a heart attack, or chest pain you feel while you’re at rest or doing light physical activity (unstable angina). Acute coronary syndrome is often diagnosed in an emergency room or hospital.

So what did this European study find out? Here’s a key quote from the researchers:

The 28-day CF was 26% (95% confidence interval, CI, 24–29%) in married men, 42% (95% CI 37–47%) in men who had previously been married, and 51% (95% CI 46–57%) in never-married men. Among women, the corresponding figures were 20% (95% CI 15–24%), 32% (95% CI 25–39%), and 43% (95% CI 31–56%).

What in the world does this mean? CF is case fatality — people who died.

In other words, the best bet to go on living after a heart attack is to be married. Second best is to at least have been married. The worst case scenario is to have never been married.

There was a gender difference in that women do better following a heart event. Nevertheless married people of both genders were twice as likely to survive major heart trouble as the never married. The formerly married were in the middle.

The takeaway from this is to get married if you aren’t. Stay married if you are.

For those living in isolation, finding a marriage partner is patently  easier said than done. I realize I’m meddling, but here are my quick guidelines for the single ones to protect their hearts.

1) Marriage counselors and psychologists tell us that finding a spouse is more about being the right man or woman than discovering the ideal partner. Being happy about who you are in God’s sight, married or not, goes a long way toward physical and spiritual health.

2) Vitamin C is great stuff for mending and maintaining the heart. Experts suggest that 1,000 milligrams (1 gram) per day is a great place to start.

3) Fish oils (omega-3 fats) are good for keeping the blood thin and reducing any inflammation afflicting the circulation. A capsule or two a day of a good brand can help.

And always remember that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine!



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